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The FC Twin Video Game System is a Nintendo Entertainment System hardware clone that can play Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) games. It retails between $45 to $60. The system has been well received due to the increasing scarcity of original hardware. The system has been followed by a number of similar console "remakes": the Retro Duo Twin Video Game System for NES & SNES games, the SG Twin Video Game System for Sega Genesis & NES games, Gen-X Dual Station Video Game System for Genesis and NES games and the Yobo FC 3 Plus for Genesis, SNES and NES games.
The FC Twin Video Game System has separate circuitry and card slots for both hardware NES and Super Nintendo Entertainment System, allowing it to play games for both consoles. It features a single-pole, double-throw power switch with open position; the switch can be thrown to 8-Bit (NES) or 16-Bit (SNES), or set to off.
The FC Twin console uses SNES compatible controllers and devices such as the Super Scope and Konami Justifier light guns, but cannot use NES compatible controllers and devices such as the NES Zapper peripheral for Duck Hunt. The Super Nintendo controller buttons otherwise map to the NES controller inputs (B maps to Y, A maps to B. A maps to turbo B, X maps to turbo A; L and R serve no function). When using any controllers besides the actual FC Twin ones, the A and X buttons do nothing during NES play. Gauntlet II pauses when L or R is hit.
The FC Twin connects through an RCA connector, and can be hooked into a surround sound system. When using stereo and surround output from these systems, NES sounds and music may seem very different from their typical mono output. Using output modes that properly generate mono sound, either through a single center speaker or cloned to multiple speakers, the sound output sounds mostly identical to the original NES. The FC Twin does not produce some sounds faithfully, even with mono output; sound effects in the Super Mario Bros. series games will for example immediately seem different. Nevertheless, some later models of the console produce NES sound much more faithfully than units made closer to launch. Recent models produce sound with complete fidelity.
The FC Twin uses a card slot reader rather than a Zero insertion force connector. The second-generation NES also used a card slot reader, and featured no 10NES lock-out chip; however, unlike the top-loading NES 2, the FC Twin is completely compatible with the Galoob Game Genie without the use of an adaptor. Both the official NES2 and the FC Twin capitalize on the card slot reader's greater reliability; games rarely suffer from bad connections as they did with the original ZIF socket. In the FC Twin, the NES cartridge still has to be reseated occasionally; the pins can misalign and short across each other or otherwise fail to connect properly; you have to manoeuvre the game cartridge until it works.
As tested by consumers, the following NES games are not compatible with the FC Twin:
- After Burner
- Athletic World
- Bandit Kings of Ancient China
- Captain Planet and the Planeteers
- Cheetahmen II
- Challenge of the Dragon
- Crystal Mines
- Dance Aerobics
- Dirty Harry
- Laser Invasion
- Mad Max
- Miracle piano teaching system
- Pipe Dream
- Rad Racer II
- Rolling Thunder
- Short order-Eggsplode!
- Stadium Events
- Street Cop
- The last starfighter
- Uncharted Waters
- World Class Track Meet
- 4-in-1 Quattro Arcade
At times different copies of the same game can behave differently in the FC Twin. This may be explained by a malfunction with the cartridge itself. Some copies of Dragon Warrior or Super Mario Bros. 2 for example will not work in the FC Twin; while other copies of the same games will operate in the same machine. In other cases, the system simply does not function with certain expansion chips, such as those in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.
The FC Twin uses Super Nintendo compatible controllers and devices, and can thus connect to specialized input devices such as the SNES Mouse for Mario Paint.
The FC twin reproduces SNES sound very well for a Famicom Clone. Some find that the audio has too much treble at times though most agree that the sound quality is true to the original. The SPC700 in the original SNES used a sample-driven mechanism similar to a type of instruction-driven MOD file. Reproducing the sound from these systems simply requires playing back clips of sounds with mathematically-defined effects and loop points. As long as the CPU can read the instruction language or run a program to emulate it, this task presents no difficulty.
While the FC Twin is Super Famicom compatible, two plastic tabs in the cartridge slot prevent them from fitting. These tabs must be removed- or otherwise worked around- to play Super Famicom titles. Similar tabs are used in the American Super NES. PAL games work just fine.
As tested by consumers, the following SNES games and peripherals are not compatible with the FC Twin:
- Star Ocean - Another S-DD1 dependent title.
- Kirby Super Star - Due to Nintendo SA-1 Coprocessor built (disputed) into the Cartridge (Compatible with Retro Duo system)
- Kirby's Dreamland 3 - Another title with the Nintendo SA-1 chip (disputed)
- Super Scope 6 - The gun works, but it will not let you use the controller. This also prevents two player mode on such titles as Terminator: Arcade, Metal Combat, etc.
- Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts - Everything works up until the 3rd level boss which is incorrectly invisible.
- Super Mario RPG - Another title with the Nintendo SA-1 chip (disputed)
- Dragon Quest I & II
- Doraemon - Nobita to Yosei no Kuni - The over world map doesn't appear, just the sprites appear.
- Dragon Quest III
- Terranigma - The game has a special lockout chip which prevents use on unofficial hardware.
- Front Mission: Gun Hazard
A light gun was recently released specifically for the FC Twin, modelled closely after the NES Zapper (but smaller, with a more ergonomic handle), with a black trigger, dark grey stock/handle and orange plastic mount on the top (and missing the familiar noise maker that the NES version featured) and a SNES style plug. This light gun is billed as being compatible with all NES Zapper games on the FC Twin console.